Monday, July 27, 2015

Awesome Assen


Things are looking up here in Assen! (ha literally, cuz we are at like the highest point of the Netherlands) This week was good times. :)

Jeffrey came to church yesterday! That is the first person Sister Harris and I have seen come to church since we have both been here. The branch was so friendly and welcoming and we were pleased. It's incredible to see the change that has come over Jeffrey these last two months. He really looks happier and more open. What an incredible blessing to be able to watch that happen in someone's life.

I learned a good lesson this week. Self-confidence as a missionary is not always so top-notch, and especially if you have a bad habit of worrying what other people think (not like I do or anything..). But this woman in our ward, who is slightly handicapped so we help her a lot and are good friends with her, asked me my first name. When I told her Andressa, she said "oh I will never remember that. Ugly name." And I thought. Hey. Wait a minute. That is absolutely not true. Ever since I was  a little girl, I have loved my name and thought it was beautiful (Chrysanthemum and I are kindred spirits) and people have always told me that my name is pretty. This woman saying it was ugly did not change any of these facts. She has actually said a number of things to me before that have really hurt my feelings, and have taken more of a toll on my self-confidence. But I realized in this moment that someone expressing a momentary opinion of you does not make any difference in who you are. Just because someone thinks something, doesn't mean it's true or right or that everyone else in the world thinks that. So guess what. It doesn't matter what people think. :)

I went on exchanges this week with my old comp Sister Jones! Oh it was a blast, and I learned a lot. We contacted into a Brazilian pop star (Carlos..?) who is looking for God and had a BoM in the past, actually. Wow, that was cool! And it was a whole day full of little miracles that helped me realize my worth as a missionary. God knows everything.

We also taught the Restoration to my favorite little part-member family, and it was one of the most Spirit-filled lessons I have ever been in. Being at their home feels a little like home, with the relationships they have with each other and darling kids running around. I want them to be an eternal family so badly.

These are my words for the week. :) Don't forget kids, God made you special, and He loves you very much. Bye!

Love from the Neverlands,

Sister Johanson

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hoi hoi!

We almost had someone come to church yesterday. Our fantastic investigator showed up right after the service, soaking wet from walking in the rain. Dear soul. We showed him a Mormon Message and then walked him home. We will try again next week. :)

Funny story of the week: We were going door-to-door, same old same old, and came across this one younger guy. I don't think he was entirely "all there," 'cuz we asked him if he had ever heard of the Mormons. Conversation: (but in Dutch)
Guy: "Ya, Mormons"
Us: "Oh, what have you heard?"
Guy: "Not good. Devils."
Me to Sis. Harris: "Oh we're devils." "What do they do?"
Guy: " And they're busy, always busy. Not good."
Hahaha ohhh I see. Devils indeed.
But after talking to two cute girls on the door for a while, we were able to get him excited about coming to a church service. I still don't think he ever realized that we are the Mormons... Who'da thunk that rumors like that escaped America and made their way to the Neverlands?

Zone conference was also good this week. We all have to buy helmets, and we are distraught. But, okay, we will go and we will do. Even if all the Dutch people laugh their heads off at us. Maybe this is the secret key to baptism, ya never know.

Hope you have a lovely pioneer week! (I forgot about that holiday) I LOVE BEING MORMON and you should too. :)


Sister Johanson

Monday, July 13, 2015

Still Here in Assen


Good last week of the transfer! We met the new mission president and wife, President and Sister Bunnell, and they are wonderful. I love them so much already. (phew! I was really so worried, cuz I loved the Robinsons) I can not imagine coming into a mission and suddenly being in charge of 150 missionaries in Europe and all that sort of thing. Ah. But they are doing well, and I'm excited about the change. 

News: There is progress! One of our investigators is on baptismal date, and is trying to stop smoking. I have never seen anything like this before. I can see him opening up a little more to us as we meet with him more often and as he reads in the Book of Mormon and tries to improve his life and find truth. It's incredible. I am so grateful! I am so grateful that God is letting me see the beginning of a miracle like this.

We had the singing elders concert "Journey With No End," on Saturday, and it was breathtaking. I was so worried that nobody we had invited would come, but guess what. They did! A wonderful part-member family and then a non-member couple that we do service for. Oh, I was so thrilled. They loved it, and they felt the Spirit and the missionaries were happy. I am so excited to see where things are going to go from here!

In case you were wondering about the weather (I've noticed that I mention weather a lot), it's pouring outside.

I love you all! 
And happy birthday today to my most beautiful wonderful mother! Wouldn't be here without you. :)


Sister Johanson

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Birthday America!

Hey American Friends!

Guess what. It was 95 degrees all last week. Death! Death! With humidity! Gah I never thought that would happen to me in the Neverlands! I felt like I was going moldy, I was just gross all the time. 
But! Fun times.

On America Day, man, we were just thrilled. I got to work with the "singing elders" again this week! And that was super fun. So on America Day, all us American missionaries just get all fired up. I never knew how much I loved the 4th of July and America until I was not there! We sang America songs all day, and I pinned an American flag to my bike, and what was great is that Sanaya (a non-member that we do service for; very darling children) had all us 6 of us missionaries over for a BBQ to celebrate the 4th. Haha it was a lot of fun, and I will never forget the 4th of July in the Netherlands.

Transfers: Sister Harris and I stay together in Assen :)

Frustration: We taught two of the most prepared people I have ever met on my mission this week. But guess what. They both didn't want to have another appointment. I don't understand. We teach all these other people with seeming semi-interest and shallow understanding, but when we find those who seem so ready, they actually aren't ready. How weird is that?

Luckily, God's love is real. I am learning lots about that. He loves this little branch here in Assen, He loves the people we talk to, the people we try to teach, the silly little missionaries that try to do His work and their families back home. And I am grateful. :)

Love you all! God bless :)

Sister Johanson